The Strategies To Enhance Teaching And Learning Of Computer Science In Secondary School

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science Education

The Strategies To Enhance Teaching And Learning Of Computer Science In Secondary School


Abstract


The major purpose of this study was to determine the strategies for improving computer studies in secondary schools in Oshimili and Aniocha Local Government Areas of Delta State. Four research questions were answered and four null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The population for the study consisted of 200 students made up of 118 principals, 118 Vice Principals and 46 computer studies teachers in Oshimili and Aniocha Local Government Areas of Delta State. The instrument was face validated by three research experts, two from the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and one from the Federal College of Education (Technical) Asaba. The questionnaire was pilot tested with a sample of 30 computer study teachers from secondary schools in Nsukka zone of Enugu State. Cronbach Alpha reliability test was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and this yielded a reliability coefficient of 77.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

One of the fundamental rights for every human being is education. Education prepares the individual for challenges in life. Consequently, Gujjar, Khan, Baig, Ramzan and Saifi (2010) opined that education does not only deliver information, but for developing complete personality of a child. In Nigeria there are three levels of education: primary, secondary and tertiary level. Secondary education is the level between primary and tertiary education. It equally prepares students to be productive members of the society (Jegede and Owolabi, 2003). In developed countries, secondary school is seen as the gateway to providing not only an educated citizenry but also a capable workforce. According to World Bank in Etim (2006), secondary education is now being recognized as the cornerstone of educational system in the 21st century. It therefore means that quality secondary education is indispensable in creating a bright future for individuals and nations alike.
In line with the above statements, Jacob and Tomoko (2001) stated that secondary education is crucial for economic growth. Jacob and Tomoko (2001) maintained that globalization, the increasing importance of ICT in the twenty-five century and rapid technological changes have made knowledge essential for competing in the world economy. Secondary education therefore provides countries with the skills and knowledge needed for economic growth, including furthering learning and training of professionals such as technicians’ scientists and entrepreneurs. Secondary education can also be decisive in fostering positive social and civic values and yields considerable private returns, offering young people the chance to acquire skills that were unlikely to be developed in the primary grades. This in turn enables youth to develop job-oriented skills, participate fully in society, take control of their own lives, and continue learning. Educational system is gradually becoming a system of technology especially in the present information driven economy. Owing to advances in science and technology which continues to revolutionize the global world, the Federal Ministry of Education introduced computer studies at all levels of education in Nigeria (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004).

The term computer studies have been used interchangeably. In some cases it has been referred to as computer education while in other cases it is called computer literacy. In whatever way, it means the same thing. Computer education is the effort or the ability to make the generality of the people computer literate. They went further to state that computer education (literacy) means ability to tell the computer what you want it to do and understand what the computer says. Computer literacy as the ability to be able to read, write and speak the language of the computer. It can also be looked at as a process of educating the people on how to use a computer to run a program and diverse application including business, industry and commerce (Okorie, 2001).

Computer studies according to Edhuze (2003) involve teaching and inculcating in the learner the basic skills required to independently manipulate the computer to achieve educational goals. He further stated that, computer studies as a subject is aimed at making students acquire skills and competencies required in this digital word of competitiveness. Such basic skills and competencies upon graduation make them conversant with term and practices embedded in the world of computer. Computer studies is therefore a subject organized to enable people understand the function, uses and limitations of the computer and to provide an opportunity for the study of the modern methods of information processing.

The intention of Nigeria to include computer studies into the secondary school curriculum dates back to 1988 when the National Policy on Computer Education was enacted and launched (Abimbade, 1999). The policy on computer education suggested the following as some of the computer curriculum context at the secondary school level: A basic appreciation of how the computer works, an understanding of the basic principle of operating the computer, hands-on experience using the pre-programmed packages which are relevant to the interest of the students as teacher aids in different subjects. According to the National Policy on Computer Education (1988), it is expected that by the end of secondary education, the child has acquired reasonable competence in software such as word processing, spreadsheet, database analyzing programs that allow learners interact with the computer the way they desire (Ayogu, 2008). It therefore means that to achieve these objectives as stated in the National Policy on Education, strategies are needed.

According to Zahra (1993), strategies offer a framework within which an organization defines possible means of achieving its goals and objectives. The objective of every strategy is to put the organization in a position to carry out its mission effectively and efficiently. Educational program facing difficulties needs to develop and implement strategies to improve its fortunes. In line with this, the Federal Government adopted a strategy: The introduction of a scholarship award scheme known as Technical Teacher Training Program (TTTP). This scheme took off in the month of January, 1992. One of their aims is the training of serving science and technical teachers in computer studies throughout the country.

The experience in several countries that had introduced computer literacy program, shows that the most appropriate place to start computer awareness program is at the school level and the most appropriate level is the secondary school. Therefore the decision in 1988 by the Federal Government of Nigeria to start its pilot program in the Federal Government Colleges was keeping with what had proved successful in other countries and in line with the recommendations of the committee on National Policy for Computer Education in Nigeria. This committee was mandated amongst others, to advise government on the curricular contests and procedures best suitable to the needs of the country and for the various levels of education. This committee was also mandated to come up with consideration and advice on the ways and means of ensuring a smooth transition of computer courses between and among the various types and levels of education.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The growing need for computer literacy has made it imperative that increased attention be given to the study of computer at all level of education especially in secondary schools. It has been observed that schools in Oshimili and Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State has shown that inadequate laboratory, computer and instructional materials required for teaching and learning of computer studies are not only inadequate but have not been fully utilized. Further interaction with student has shown that they are not taught computer studies regularly like any other subject due to shortage of computer teachers. However, the principal noted that one of the reasons why computer teachers are in short supply is that when NCE teachers with computer qualification when employed, they prefer to teach mathematics subject rather than computer subject. The principals however noted that most of these computer teachers have been exposed only to the theoretical aspect of their programme while little or no attention was paid to the practical aspect of their programme during their years of training.

It therefore means that without proper improvement on the gaps facing computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State, secondary school students upon graduation are bound to be completely obsolete in our contemporary society where knowledge of computer has become a prerequisite for employment, interview and in some cases for promotion. It is on this basis that the researcher deems it necessary to conduct a study on strategies for improving computer studies in Aniocha and Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The major purpose of the study is to determine strategies for improving computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili, Local Government Area of Delta State. The study specifically sought to determine:

  1. The strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of computer studies in secondary school in Aniocha and Oshimili, Local Government Area of Delta State.
  2. The strategies for improving teaching methodology required for the teaching of computer studies in secondary school in Aniocha and Oshimili, Local Government Area of Delta State.
  3. The strategies for improving the availability and quality of human resources required for the teaching of computer studies in Aniocha and Oshimili, Local Government Area of Delta State.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of Computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili Local Government Areas of Delta State?
  2. What are the strategies for improving teaching methodologies required for the teaching of Computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili Local Government Areas of Delta State?
  3. What are the strategies for improving the supply and quality of human resources required for the teaching Computer studies in Aniocha and Oshimili Local Government Areas of Delta State?

1.5 Hypotheses

Four null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance.

  1. H0: There is no significant relationship between improving the availability and quality of learning equipments and the performance of computer students.
    H1: There is a significant relationship between improving the availability and quality of learning equipments and the performance of computer students.
  2. H20: There is no significant relationship between improving the methodologies of teaching computer science and the performance of computer science students.
    H21: There is a significant relationship between improving the methodologies of teaching computer science and the performance of computer science students.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be useful to policy makers. Being aware of the changing and challenging world of digitalization they will be able to produce curriculum that will stand the test of time. The findings of this study will help them follow suit and form a body that will regulate, monitor, evaluate and verify progress on the use of the existing curriculum, since current curriculum is obsolete and needs to be updated within the dynamic world of computers.

The result of this finding will serve as a guide when allocating funds for the purchase of basic instructional facilities that will be used by teachers for teaching of computer studies. It will also serve as a guide when providing funds for retraining serving teachers in IT techniques and instructional methods. This training should also be made open also to private schools to ensure uniform standards.

The findings of this study will not only alert but serve as a source of data to the current trends, also add to the volume of literature available in schools and as a reference for future research for improving the teaching of computer studies in secondary school to the federal government. It is hoped that the recommendations of this study will be of help to designated College of Education and Universities so that they will see the current problems in terms of shortage of computer teachers and teach both theoretical and practical courses or programs with the view that within few years, qualified computer teachers will be available to schools.


1.7 limitation of the Study

It is delimited to principals, vice-principals and teachers in secondary schools where Computer studies are offered as a subject in Aniocha and Oshimili Local Government Areas, in Delta State.


1.8 Organization of the Study

The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to reiterate that the objective of this study was to assess the strategies for improving computer studies in secondary schools in oshimili and aniocha local government area of delta state.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given.
In this chapter, certain recommendations are made which in the opinion of the researcher are drawn from the findings of the study.


5.2 Summary

Secondary school education is seen as a gateway to providing not only an educated citizenry but also a capable workforce. Quality secondary school education is therefore indispensable in creating a bright future for individuals and nation alike thus it provides recipients with the skills and knowledge needed for economic growth, as well as furthering learning and training of professionals such as technician, scientists, entrepreneurs etc. In this 21st century the term computer studies and computer literacy have been used interchangeable which is aimed at making the generality of the people computer literate. The intention of Nigeria to include computer studies into the secondary school curriculum is aimed at equipping the children at the secondary school level with refinance computers in software usage such as word processing, spreadsheet, database analyzing programs that allow learners to interact with the computer the way they desire, unfortunately, the introduction of computer studies in the Nigerian secondary schools has faced serious setback in terms of its implementation raging from resources (computer experts, computer systems and its peripherals, infrastructures, security of equipment etc) necessary for teaching and learning of computer studies.

A basic appreciation of how the computer works, an understanding of the basic principles of operating the computer, hands-on experience using the pre-programmed packages will be relevant to the interest of the learners as teacher aids in different subject.

This situation therefore, calls for proper improvement on the gaps facing adequate and effective implementation of computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State. To address this problem therefore four specific purpose of the study was formulated which sought to determine:

  1. The strategies for improving the availability and quality of instructional facilities required for the teaching of computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili South LGA of Delta State.
  2. The strategies for improving the teaching methodologies required for the teaching of computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili South LGAs of Delta State.
  3. The strategies for improving the availability and quality of human resources required for the teaching of computer studies in Aniocha and Oshimili South LGA of Delta State.

5.3 Conclusion and Recommendation

The study concludes that there are some basic strategies that could be adopted in order to improve the teaching of computer studies in secondary schools in Aniocha and Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State. The study is of the view that computer studies should provide sound basis for further training in computer science at the tertiary level of education thus should be relied upon to enable students acquire the basic skills and knowledge needed to either secure a job and earn a living or to pursue further studies in the area computer and information science.

Evidence from the study also revealed that funding strategies for computer studies could be used in improving the teaching of computer studies in secondary schools. It is also found that strategies for improving the availability and supply of instructional facilities as well as teaching methodologies strategies could be used to enhance the teaching of computer studies in secondary schools. It is evident in the study that when students are adequately trained under an improved learning environment where instructional facilities are provided and qualified teachers engaged for the services of teaching and learning applying by proper teaching techniques there is no doubt that the performance of students in computer studies will improve considerably, and as such they are bound to develop a remarkable interest in computer studies and develop the necessary skills required to secure and succeed in the workplace.

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study and the implications of the study:

  1. School administrators (Education Secretaries and Principals) should ensure that computer teachers are sponsored on retraining programmes at least twice a year through workshops, seminars and conferences to enable them learn the modern technological skills in their chosen field of endeavour.
  2. The school administrators should as a matter of urgency liase with private sectors to provide computers and other instructional materials needed for teaching of computer studies.
  3. Parents through the PTA and other major stakeholders of our education should assists our secondary schools by donating instructional facilities like laptons, desktop computers, multimedia, generating sets, internet etc to enable students practice and acquire the skills of computing.

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